Over the past 20 years, the US has always been a country that expands and dominates its influence globally to bring about military and commercial benefits. However, the rise of China has become a stiff competitor for Washington.
Towards these goals, Beijing is using an American motif, including providing “aid” in various forms to countries in exchange for a military relationship, according to Eurasia Reviews. extension.
This is already evident in Beijing’s new security agreement with the Solomon Islands, a chain of islands in the southwestern Pacific Ocean that many see as a political-military earthquake.
This is the first known bilateral security agreement between China and a country in the Pacific.
According to the sources, the security treaty allows China to send police and military personnel to the Solomon Islands “to assist in maintaining social order”, while also opening the door for Chinese warships to stop at the port to ” additional logistics”.
This raises concerns about possible security risks, as a Chinese naval facility could be located on the doorstep of Australia and New Zealand.
The Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands confirmed that he had signed a new security agreement with China, but reassured that the step would “not undermine the peace and harmony of the region” as the US and Australia fear.
Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry, said the agreement was based on the principle of “equality and mutual benefit”.
“The purpose of China-Solomon Islands security cooperation is to promote social stability and long-term stability in the Solomon Islands, for the mutual benefit of the Solomon Islands and the South Pacific region.”
The Solomon Islands, just over 1,000km northeast of Australia, are described by analysts as having a major geopolitical impact on the US. Canberra has stated that it is “disappointed” with the deal.
Therefore, it is no coincidence that the Solomon administration has implied that the US and Australia can pressure them to abandon the agreement.
How does the US respond?
The current agreement does not immediately create an official Chinese military base in the Solomon Islands, but certainly lays the groundwork for a similar scenario in the future.
No country has as many overseas military bases as the United States, but China is steadily increasing the number as it now has affiliated bases in Djibouti, Myanmar and Tajikistan.
Most likely, Washington will respond with a confrontational attitude towards China after the latest move.
“There is good reason to be skeptical that China may seek to use its economic presence to create an opportunity for a more permanent military presence here,” said Bonnie Glaser, a leading China expert. and director of the Asia Program at the Marshall Foundation told Grid News.
“Australia and the US have been wary of this possibility because they see the area as very strategic.”
The Solomon Islands are comprised of 900 islands located on maritime routes connecting the United States with larger areas. In its latest statement, the White House said it was concerned about the “lack of transparency and unspecified nature” of the treaty.
To defuse the situation, observers believe that Washington will have to quickly move to strengthen ties with this island nation.
There are several things the United States can do. One is to provide some protections to help Solomon deal with illegal fishing, including providing coast guard ships to help the country monitor what’s going on inside the exclusive economic zone. very large capital.
Basically, the Solomons needed to invest in infrastructure. The reason the Chinese successfully cooperated with Solomon came from the offer to provide infrastructure for the island nation.
Therefore, the US will also have to participate in providing infrastructure along with Japan, Australia, even the Europeans.
It is worth mentioning that the US has not had an embassy in the Solomons for nearly 30 years and only recently planned to open it.
“There are many options, but the West really has to use the resources of these programs in a targeted way to compete more effectively with China,” expert Glaser emphasized.
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